By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia just got worse. Of course - like always, it is all about the Shiite Sunni conflict.
In this latest chapter of the conflict, Iranians will not be able to attend the Haj in January. Iran blames Saudi Arabia for not being able to work out the details so that, like all religious Muslims, Iranians pilgrims can make the religious trek to Mecca.
Last year during the Haj over 2000 people were trampled to death. 464 of the dead were Iranian.
Also this year, Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic relations with Iran.
It happened in January after Iran burned and attacked the Saudi Embassy in Teheran after the Saudis executed a Shiite religious leader.
These tensions make normalization very difficult. The two states are not allies. They are rivals for the leadership of the Islamic world. There is no way to make their interaction less contentious.
It all goes to prove, once again, that the internal conflicts of the Middle East are rooted in divisions that have nothing to do with Israel. And these tensions are not likely to be resolved.
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